Listening and following directions

4 pages.

"Turkey Talk" is a quick, easy and fun way to whole-group assess listening and following directions, numbers, number words, ordinal numbers and colors. This activity will be FREE for an entire year! Woo hoo. After which time, it will be revamped and put in my jumbo, 177-page "Funtastic" Fall November Math & Craftivities Packet.  Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop to take a look.

Are you tired of hearing, “What are we supposed to do?” and repeating directions?

     Whether you’re a beginning teacher or a seasoned veteran you’ll want to check this out. Hopefully it will help make your life easier and your students more independent.

  • teacher_at_boardMy Y5’s have an attention span of negative 5 seconds. They bring new meaning to the phrase "ants in your pants!"
  • They also don’t listen well so following directions is difficult for them.
  • Even though I would explain and model what we would be doing for "Table Top" lessons on the white board, they were not retaining that information when they'd take their seats.
  • I was constantly answering “What are we supposed to do now?” I felt this was reinforcing negative behavior as well as a waste of my time. I could be working one-one with my Hispanic children, or helping with a center etc.
  • It was frustrating all the way around and we were not getting a whole lot done.
  • They couldn’t read the directions on their paper or on the board so what could I do that would turn the light bulb on?
  • Click on the link to see and print a set.
  • I also put the words under the picture.
  • I simply made a list of all the directions that I have my students do consistently and looked for clip art to match.
  • Because I always have Hispanic children who are not yet bilingual, I try to keep my one-word commands the same, instead of using a different synonym, so the icons really helped my ESL students.
  • Each morning my children do “Table Top” lessons at their desk.
  • These are skill sheets that I’ve designed that revolve around our report card standards. I call them skill or fun sheets, not work sheets. Who’d want to do work?
  • They are stapled in a packet at their desk.
  • The first day of school they only have one page.
  • We work up from there as days progress ‘til I have them doing entire mini “fun booklets”.Icons_on_board
  • This gets them ready for the workbooks they will have to do in kindergarten and 1st grade. Even learning how to turn a page, self check their work to make sure they have done all of the pages, learn that this is the cover page, ask themselves have they written their name at the top etc. are all skills  they don't have.
  • These mini booklets help them learn these things.
  • Another bonus is that if Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up and I need something to show families, I simply keep one or two mornings of work and I pretty much have all of my report card standards covered.
  • Most days they are doing 5-8 pages.
  • I put the individual sheets up on the white board and hold them there with magnet clips.
  • My students sit on the floor while I explain and model. We do the “fun” sheets together as a whole group.
  • I keep directions short 5-8 minutes.
  • Before I even explain what we will do with a particular page, I have them read the icon and tell me what we will do.
  • For some papers I have more than one icon under the paper.
  • This is great for understanding ordinal numbers. First we will write our name on the paper, second we will color, third we will cut, last we will glue.
  • I’ll put 1, 2, 3 by the icons and later 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
  • Children have a tendency to want to cut things out first which makes it hard to color little pieces later. So “seeing” this on the board, as well as “hearing” me tell them the reason this step is important for them to do it in this order, really helps.
  • Hearing and seeing is also hitting two types of learners.
  • Following a 3-step direction is one of our report card standards, and by using these icons I’m nailing that standard every day.
  • I also have all of my CENTERS displayed at the white board and successfully use the icons to do those directions as well.
  • My students start out the first week of school doing 1 to 2 centers. We work up to 6-8 centers.
  • They range from quickie 1 to 2-minute activities to more involved ones that take 10-15 minutes. They can do all of them independently.
  • The Pinch & Poke and Bingo Dot/Pattern sheets are part of my center activities. They are included in all of my Units.
  • Click on the link to see the explanation of a unit.
  • Now when my students go back to their desk, if they forget what they are supposed to do, they simply look at the board and see the icon.  It jogs their memory and they can get down to business.
  • It REALLY does work! I have so much more time to help students with other things!
  • My students are also able to READ those words so that when they do see written directions on their skill sheets they can actually figure them out!
  • The first week, before they are used to the system, they might still ask “What do I do?” Simply refer them to the board and say: “You tell me. What does the picture tell you that you should do?”
  • LaughI’ve also developed something called: LAF. I tell my students that I want you to  “LAF” before you can ask me “What do I do?” Click on the link to read about that and empower your students!
  • I really try to train my students to think for themselves.
  • I encourage them to ask questions, but I want them to know that I’m not always going to give them the answer, especially if I know it’s rolling around in their head somewhere.
  • It’s much more exciting and self-esteem building for them to find out on their own.
  • My skill sheets are also of the same format so that they are consistent.
  • Students who can’t read need that consistency so that they feel comfortable showing you that they know a skill or can practice a skill.
  • So that they are not getting something wrong simply because they aren’t following directions.
  • Click on the link for directions on how to make your icons and to read about the "Smartie Coins" that I use as an incentive to further good listening skills".
  • Click on the link for a copy of the note home to parents about Smartie Coins.
  • I cannot tell you enough how this icon program has freed me up to do other things and stopped the “What do I do now?” frustrating questions completely!
  • They have empowered my students to get down to business and work independently. Because of this, they feel really good about themselves.
  • The icons have actually been a great self-esteem builder, not only for that reason, but because by the end of October, they can read those words and are pretty proud of themselves.







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